For the last 6 years we have been pointing out to EVERYONE in Washington the need for job creation. One of the "Right in your Face" solutions that matched a huge need to modernize our massive transportation infrastructure to replace the millions in job losses that occurred in all segments of the Construction and related industries, due to the Great Recession. Taking such action would also have created many, many jobs in Manufacturing and Services of all kinds.
However, the Democrats chose not to when they controlled both Houses of Congress and the Presidency, instead focusing on "arguably" important issues, but not the crisis they were made out to be, like Cap&Trade and Universal healthcare. Then the Republicans focused on the budget deficit versus job creation so they have not acted to drive the rebuilding of our infrastructure either!!! The budget deficit and debt issues are no doubt of serious concern to all of us. BUT, just as with the Democrats focus on "Man-made global warming...read Cap & Trade.....read Climate Change"and universal healthcare....read Obamacare, the R's failed to focus on the real crisis at hand....JOB CREATION and Economic Stimulus! Any good, let alone great leader knows the difference between long term problem solving and immediate Crisis solving....the reality was and is that good/great leadership is not present in Washington, hence they don't and didn't!
So here we are still with the need to create 25-30 million new jobs over the next 5-7 years and still no recognition, in concrete action, of the TRUE crisis before us...JOB CREATION and STRONG economic growth. The anemic growth in both is proof of the failure in Leadership.
One very important point to make about the article below, which focuses on gas tax increase to generate funds for infrastructure work, which we should support for "part of the funding needs", is this. The State governments and Federal governments are currently using the taxes being raised today for infrastructure for other purposes.....debt reduction....general funding needs....not infrastructure. This must stop immediately if an increase in gas taxes is to have the desired impact on Job Creation and a strong economic stimulus. THIS IS A MUST HAVE as part of any increase in the gas tax!!!!
AMERICA'S CHALLENGE--WAKE-UP!!!!! We all must work Together to be Champions and Activists! If we don't change the focus in Washington to economic growth and job creation, already 6 years behind, the other "long term" issues we see as important will never really get dealt with! How can we all not be for Job Creation and Real Growth in our Economy Today???
Let all your elected officials, both State and Federal know what they need to do. NOW!
WITH THE Highway Trust Fund running dangerously low on cash, threatening infrastructure projects across the country in the height of construction season, members of Congress seem to have settled on their latest short-term gimmick to pay for the country’s roads and rails. The only question left seems to be when they will try to do something better. The answer should be: immediately.
Without new funding, the Transportation Department will begin slashing highway payouts tostates starting Aug. 1. Few want to see that, but lawmakers have been perpetually unable to fund the nation’s transportation budget responsibly. So, depressingly if predictably, withanother funding crisis looming, members of Congress seem to agree on exploiting an arcane accounting trick called pension smoothing, which could reduce the security of private pensions but would result in more federal revenue over a decade. That decade’s worth of revenue will pay for several months of transportation spending.
This budget gimmickry is distasteful for several reasons, starting with the fact that the plan spends money now, over the course of less than a year, that the government will make back over 10 years. The idea is to give Congress more time to sort out a permanent solution to the Highway Trust Fund’s perpetual funding shortfalls. But lawmakers don’t need more time; they need more spine.
The straightforward policy, the one on which the Highway Trust Fund historically has been based, is to raise the gas tax to keep up with inflation and infrastructure needs. This model is fair and efficient, demanding that those who use the roads pay for them. As a sustainable and predictable source of revenue, a gas tax of sufficient size also would eliminate uncertainty about the level and source of government transportation funding.
Congress could end the transportation funding crunch by adopting a bipartisan plan from Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). The proposal would raise the gas tax by 12 cents per gallon over two years, and it would index the tax to inflation. The last time Congress raised the gas tax, in 1993, it failed to peg the tax to inflation, which is largely why lawmakers are scrounging for money now.
Lawmakers should pass the Corker-Murphy plan. Instead, they are fighting over when they will have to consider the long-term transportation funding issue. Many Republicans want to push off the decision-making until next spring. Many Democrats want to have the debate this December. If lawmakers aren’t willing to accept the obvious funding plan in front of them before the November elections, they should do so immediately afterward, when the political atmosphere may be more conducive to doing the right thing. More important, there’s no reason to make the country wait any longer for funding certainty.